Cabinet Office head of news to oversee anti-misinformation unit

Post as departmental media relations leader comes with salary of up to £118k

Credit: Dennis Skley/CC BY-ND 2.0

The Cabinet Office is offering up to £117,8000 for a head of new whose duties will include overseeing the work of the anti-online misinformation Rapid Response Unit.

The position, for which the department is seeking to appoint a “first-rate media relations operator”, also comes with a remit to act as press secretary for Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay, who was appointed in September and assumed responsibility for the Government Digital Service and the Whitehall digitisation brief more widely – duties that were previously delegated to a junior minister.

The head of news and external affairs will primarily work with the press office, which operates around for eight ministers and is also responsible for media relations for cabinet secretary Simon Case and civil service chief operating officer Alex Chisholm.

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The postholder will also assume responsibility for an external affairs team that organises ministerial visits and engagements, as well leading the direction of the department’s media-relations strategy.

Alex Aiken, executive director for government communications, posted the role on Twitter, writing: “It’s a fascinating and high-profile role covering a range of issues from our Covid response to cyber security and government efficiency.”

The candidate “must be an exceptionally talented communications professional with skills in dealing with the full range of media outlets”, the job description says.

They must have “excellent news sense, spot-on judgement, acute political savvy and first-rate writing skills”.

The role is described as a “unique position which provides exposure to a range of high-profile and sensitive issues, including for example, the government’s coronavirus response, national cyber security, supply chains, veterans’ affairs and government efficiency and reform”.

Applications for the role, which is based in London and comes with a salary of between £71,000 and £117,800, close on 30 January.


Sam Trendall

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